Test to protect frequently asked questions

Here we answer your frequently asked questions about test to protect. 

What Covid-19 testing does the University use?

The University offers an asymptomatic PCR testing service which detects the virus through a simple saliva sample. We aim to send your results the next working day.

How many tests should I take?

We recommend that you take regular Asymptomatic (saliva) tests, ideally weekly, to monitor any possible infection.  This can be done via the testing booking system.

I have tested positive for Covid-19 with a PCR test in the last 90 days, should I take a test?

  • In order to keep our campuses safe for staff and students we advise testing once a week. If you test positive with the ATS, we can work with you to determine whether this is a new infection or the remnants of your previous one.

Why should I isolate after taking the test?

Isolating while awaiting results means that, should you test positive, the risk of you having spread the virus to others will be low.

I had to test prior to travelling to Nottingham. Do I need to test again?

Yes. We ask all students to test upon return to Nottingham.

I didn’t leave campus. When should I book my test(s)?

You should aim to get a test as soon as possible and take weekly tests thereafter. 


What is an accredited test?

To be accredited, test providers have proven through formal assessment that they can deliver quality management processes which ensure they consistently generate results which can be relied upon.  The assessment covers both the testing activities and the quality process in recording and managing all samples.  This also includes monitoring the output of test results.  By taking an accredited test, any positive result will be automatically included in the NHS Track and Trace system. 

The University’s Asymptomatic Testing Service has received formal confirmation of its accreditation. So, any positive test identified through the Asymptomatic Testing Service is now automatically included in the NHS Track and Trace system.

However, please note that we are not currently accredited to be part of the Government’s testing requirements for international travel (test to release, day 2 / day 8 testing).  The Government website on Test to Release includes more information about private providers whose tests can be used for this purpose.


Do I have to take a test if I am displaying symptoms?

If you are displaying symptoms, then you must not get a test through the University and should, instead, self-isolate.

Why should I take a test if I am asymptomatic?

Testing will:

  • reduce R by identifying and isolating those who are infected, but do not show symptoms – students have been shown to have high degrees of asymptomatic transmission​
  • help break the chain of transmission from potentially infectious individuals ​
  • give confidence to students and staff that, if they choose to return home or go to another destination for the winter break, the chances of them carrying the virus with them are reduced

It is in everyone’s interests to prevent the virus spreading to loved ones and others. Taking preventative measures should enable a speedier return to ‘normal life’.


How accurate are these tests?

The asymptomatic saliva test has a sensitivity of >95% and can detect a Covid-19 infection before you begin to show symptoms, helping us to keep our campuses and communities safe

Can the University's test be used for the Test to Release scheme when travelling/returning abroad?

The University's PCR test is not accredited for use as part of the Government’s Test to Release scheme for international students or as part of the legally-required documentation to enable travel.

Is it safe to get tested?

The tests are self-administered, and contact is limited. Staff at the centres wear PPE where appropriate and anyone entering the centres are advised to wear face coverings unless exempt.


Can I do Covid-19 testing during Ramadan? 

The British Islamic Medical Association have advised the following:

’Our position is that PCR and LFD tests do not invalidate the fast, which is the opinion of the vast majority of Islamic scholars.’ 


Do I need to continue testing if I have had the vaccine?

Vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions such as regular testing to avoid infection. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread Covid to others - testing is one of the ways we can help reduce transmission.

Is the University's Asymptomatic Testing Service free to use?

Yes the tests we provide is free

Child Testing

Can other members of my family access the service?  

Only staff and students, primary school-aged children in their care, or older children with additional needs who are consequently unable to consent for themselves – for example, because they have medical or physical impairments – may access the service.  

How do I register my child’s test?  

You register your child’s test on their behalf, entering their personal details and consenting to the use of their personal data for the purposes of the testing service. This is done via a separate online form to the one used by staff and students to register their own tests – though the format is similar.  

The test result will be emailed to you as the child’s parent or carer.


Why is access to the service limited to younger children?  

Staff or students must be able to consent on behalf on the child they are submitting the test for, so the service is only available to younger children.  

We are also carefully monitoring uptake to ensure that we can continue to provide a high-quality, timely service to our primary audience – staff and students. 


How long will the children of staff and students be able to access the service?  

This element of the service will be available as long as there is capacity to provide it alongside providing testing for staff and students. The service will be withdrawn if capacity is exceeded as we must prioritise UoN staff and students to help keep our campuses safe. Notice of withdrawal would be provided on staff and student communications channels and the testing webpages prior to the appropriate registration forms being removed.  

For more information about vaccinations, see the latest Government guidance and advice 

University of Nottingham

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
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